Academic Technology - Florida State College at Jacksonville

Academic Technology

The Chat

EdTech from EDUCAUSE

The ChatBrandi Bleak

This year, I had the opportunity to attend Educause, the leading technology conference in higher education. Along with the incredible amount of information shared through sessions, talks, workshops and keynote speeches, I brought back some very beneficial technologies to share with the College and community. Here's a list of several that I recommended to the Ladies of The Chat, as well as our faculty, staff, and students at FSCJ.

 

Lynda.com

More than 5000 courses in Business, Design, Web, Photography, Marketing and much more that users can watch on a computer, phone, tablet or TV. The site also offers learning paths like Become a Manager, Digital Marketer, Illustrator, Front-End Web Developer, Project Coordinator, User Experience Designer, etc., and states that members with certificates in these paths received 3.5x more career opportunities.

Lynda.com offers a free 10-day trial, then costs $19.99-29.99 per month.

Grammerly

A free browser extension for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, which corrects over 150 types of complex writing errors. It's currently licensed by more than 600 leading universities and corporations, and there are free and premium versions available.

Google Cardboard & Expeditions

https://vr.google.com/cardboard/
https://www.google.com/edu/expeditions/

Virtual Reality is one of the leading innovative technologies I see lots of buzz about. This low-cost tech gives users a sense of immersion by viewing a location or subject through virtual reality. 

By using Expeditions, faculty can guide their students through a number of virtual field trips including museums, urban hikes, or even the human circulatory system. 

The cost for the basic Cardboard for each student is only $15, or you can upgrade to a customized design for an additional fee.

Candor App

During the conference's opening keynote, the speaker stated that more than 11 million meetings are held in the United States each day on average. She then suggested the Candor app, which opens up the possibility for more creative thinking and divergent thinking. Use the first few minutes of your meeting to prompt attendees to submit their ideas anonymously through the app, so the facilitator can view, evaluate, and decide on each suggestion without only hearing from those who are traditionally more vocal in meetings.

The app is free, as well as the browser instance, and is extremely intuitive.

 

Useful Apps During the Hurricane

The ChatBrandi Bleak

Although I coincidentally managed to be out of town during Hurricane Matthew, I asked my friends and colleagues which apps they found to be most useful and reviewed them this week on The Chat. Watch the segment and find my list below so you're even more prepared in the future.

The Weather Channel
This app, along with your preferred local news app for live streaming and up-to-date radar information.

Twitter

JSO kept readers aware of up-to-date info on this social media app.

Facebook Safety Check

This is a great way to let others know you're safe.

FEMA

Explains how to prepare ahead of the storm and allows users to submit photos of damage afterward.

iHeartRadio

You can listen to the local radio here, which provided great coverage during the storm.

Hotel Tonight

If you needed to evacuate during the storm, this app was helpful in finding availability of last minute rooms in a specific area. 

Grubhub

Discover which nearby restaurants will deliver and if they were open after Matthew made it's way through the area.

FSCJ Safe App

This app has so many useful features, including Emergency Contacts, Friend Walk, Virtual Walkhome, Campus Maps and Alerts. 

Firechat

The app provides public and private communications that work without Internet access or cellular data,  which is perfect during natural disasters, massive events, historical elections, or even large festivals.

Most Recommended by those asked:

JaxReady
From Emergency Preparedness Division and Information Technologies Division of the City of Jax, this app assists users in monitoring weather threats and plan for evacuation in their specific location. It also provides access to current threat levels, weather reports, and wildfire updates. 


How to Google Like a Pro

The Chat, Student Content, EdTechBrandi Bleak

Today on The Chat, I discussed a few features of the popular search engine many people aren't aware of.  Did you know that you could build with Legos right from your Chrome or Firefox browser?

Here's a list of the other tips I suggest:

SET A TIMER

Type in "set a timer for [x] minutes" and then get to work. I use this often to limit my social media time or to really focus on a task without interruptions. There's something about a countdown that makes you want to work faster! I actually set a 15 minute timer to finish this blog post - so, let's see how it works. You can also make this full screen, which could be useful for timing a speech, for example. It works in reverse if you prefer the stopwatch option.

SEARCH FOR FLIGHTS

What I like about the ability to search right from Google is that it uses your location for quicker search and suggests dates; for example, an upcoming Thursday to Sunday trip.  Now, just select where you would like to travel and you're all set. The calendar shows price differences on varying days if your plans are flexible, or you can view a map of your route which shows prices for flying into alternative cities for comparison. I didn't feel like there were as many options available as some other search sites, but they did offer the same low prices I was able to find on my usual sites. 

GOOGLE DOES MATH

From equations to conversions, it's there when you simply don't want to use your seventh grade math skills. When cooking, try using Google to help by typing "convert ten ounces to cups." When shopping for the best deal try, "What is 15% of $67?" It works at a restaurant too, when you may not know the perfect amount to tip. "What's 20% of $83?"

GOOGLE LIKE A BOSS

  • Be specific. Use keywords strategically and on purpose. You can leave out extra words to complete the sentence.
  • Google can answer many questions. Try searching nutrition facts like, "How many calories are in a Jimmy Johns turkey sub?" or "How long does it take to get to Dayton, Ohio?" The answers are 514 calories and 13 hours and 31 minutes, respectively.
  • Use quotation marks to search exact phrases. Otherwise, it will search those keywords, in any order with an article. Sometimes that matters!
  • If you keep getting searches that include a word you do not want to be a part of the search, use the minus symbol. Add it before any words you don't want to appear in your search. 
  • Use .. to search a date range. Add two periods between a date range to only search within those dates. 

And finally...

BUILD WITH LEGOS!

You can do practically anything on your computer, so why not build something with virtual Legos? This works with Chrome & Firefox browsers and is actually pretty fun! You can change the colors of the Lego bricks or choose from extras like doors or windows to add to your creation. Visit the site here to build!